After twelve years, the CDU in Baden-Württemberg has a new leader. Manuel Hagel is considered the conservatives’ new hope. In his application speech he announced an “agenda of confidence”.
It is a change of power after a long time at the top of the CDU in Baden-Württemberg: parliamentary group leader Manuel Hagel was elected as the new chairman at the state party conference in Reutlingen with 91.5 percent of the vote. He received 311 out of 340 valid votes. There were no opposing candidates. There were three abstentions, which the CDU viewed as invalid votes.
Hagel succeeds Thomas Strobl, who held the state chairmanship for twelve years. Strobl declared in September that he would not run for the state chairmanship again.
The 35-year-old Hagel is said to have ambitions to be the top candidate in 2026. Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) no longer wants to run in the state elections. The Greens have yet to name a top candidate – Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir is considered the most promising candidate. In his speech, Hagel underlined the Christian Democrats’ claim to leadership in the state: “Winfried Kretschmann’s political legacy will be in good hands with us.” It is the right time for the CDU to be ambitious again. The party is needed again. And: “We are invincible when we are closed.”
Hagel announces a turnaround in migration policy
Baden-Württemberg was governed by the CDU for almost six decades. In 2011, Kretschmann took over Villa Reitzenstein. After several years in the opposition, Strobl managed to lead the party into government as a junior partner in both 2016 and 2021 – and avoid a loss of importance. Strobl’s position in the party had been weakened for a long time: at the last party conference in November 2021 in Mannheim, he only received 66.5 percent of the votes.
At the party conference, the new state chairman Hagel called, among other things, for a 180-degree turnaround in migration policy. “The migration policy that we have been doing for years is at an end,” he said. Volunteers in the municipalities could no longer do so. The aim now is to limit the influx quickly and effectively. The country needs an “agenda of confidence”. Hagel criticized paternalism and know-it-alls.
The new General Secretary of the Southwest CDU is to be Nina Warken, a member of the Bundestag from Tauberbischofsheim. The previous Secretary General Isabell Huber had previously announced that she would be stepping down. The lawyer and lawyer Warken (44) is the parliamentary manager of the Bundestag faction. Hagel and Warken know each other from their time together in the Junge Union.
As he leaves, Strobl praises unity
Before the election, Hagel’s predecessor Strobl had attested to his regional association’s rare unity regarding his withdrawal. He doesn’t know when the CDU in Baden-Württemberg ever stood so united and united. “We’ve said that many times, but this time it’s really true.” He enjoyed being chairman of the regional association for twelve years – “mostly with joy.”
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